Luke 19:8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

In the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Secretary Clinton suggested that Donald Trump didn’t pay federal taxes for two decades. Donald Trump interjected, “that makes me smart!” So the potential leader of the free world brags about cheating on his taxes while hard working Americans are burdened with the responsibility of paying taxes he evades?

When Jesus encountered a wealthy tax collector named Zacchues, he insists that the man come down out of the tree so he could visit his house. He’s in a tree because he’s short statured and couldn’t see over the crowd. When he comes down the people have something to say about his reputation for cheating the people out of their taxes.

It was common practice for tax collectors to charge the poor double for their taxes and they pad their pockets from the burden of the poor. When Zacchues is confronted in front of Jesus he doesn’t say, “that makes smart,” because his heart says, “that makes me wrong!”

When we are convicted in our hearts of wrong doing there is something we should do rather than brag about being unethical.

  1. I will give half my possessions to the poor. At that moment the rich man realizes that nothing compares to having a clear conscience and being in right relationship with God. He’s made enough money to realize that money can’t bring you joy so he’s ready to make it right by giving to the poor. Donald Trump’s foundation was even fake. The US attorney ordered him to stop collecting money for his foundation because they suspected he was using it for himself.
  2. I will payback four times the amount I stole. Exodus 22:7 states “Suppose someone leaves money or goods with a neighbor for safekeeping, and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house. If the thief is caught, the compensation is double the value of what was stolen.” When Zacchues is conscience stricken over cheating on his taxes, he doubles his own penalty. He wants to make it right with God. How many millions will Donald Trump pay back? Maybe this is why he is the first Presidential candidate to refuse to release his income tax returns.

What kind of leader do we want in the White House? What kind of leader are you in your house? Because Zacchues did what was right when he was clearly wrong his whole house got saved. Many times the decisions we make as leaders trickles down to the people up under us. I pray we don’t get a leader in the White House who’s ethics cause a negative effect with a trickle down economy that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Dear God,

Search me. If you find anything in me that would mess up my house make me aware of it. If I have wronged anybody bring it to my attention so that I can make it right. I don’t want to owe any man or woman and not give them what they deserve. I want my house to be blessed by giving you and others what I owe. That makes me smart.

In Jesus Name,

Amen